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Joshua Johnson

Josh Johnson is a writer, designer, photographer and lover of all things Apple from Phoenix Arizona. He's been using Macs since the logo on the laptops was upside down.

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Windows 8 will be chock full of shiny new features, among which is of course a centralized app store. Let’s put aside our feigned shock and awe at this announcement and discuss whether or not this represents a potential threat to OS X or if it’s merely the technology industry doing what it does best: following wherever Apple leads.

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Software design has made some interesting strides lately. It’s possible that we’re beginning to see Apple’s role in setting UI standards give way to the innovation of third party developers.

Unfortunately, this shift makes for a much more complicated scenario for developers and designers. Tempers rise, fingers are pointed and even users begin arguing about the difference between inspiration and theft. When trends are set by third party designers, is it acceptable to follow them?

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The beloved Mac OS dock has been around for ages. Before Alfred, Spotlight or even Quicksilver, the dock was our solution for quickly launching applications. In fact, seriously old school Mac users will remember Launcher, a similar utility dating back to before OS X and the dock we know now even existed. In fact, maybe Launchpad is just Launcher resurrected, but I digress.

Though I’m definitely more prone to turn to Alfred these days for my app launching needs, I still like to maintain a nice dock: a handful of apps, neatly categorized and separated with spacers, zero magnification. I have a close friend who is the opposite. His dock is positively overflowing with apps set at the smallest size with a large magnification on hover.

Today we want to know about your dock-related tendencies. Use the poll on the right to say how many apps you keep in the dock and then leave a comment below about your setup. Are the apps organized? Do you use spacers or magnification? How about custom artwork?

We’d like to take a moment to say a big thank you to this week’s sponsor, Timing.

Timing is the best way to keep track of the time you spend with your Mac. It automatically tracks which documents you are editing, applications you use, and the domains of the websites you visit. You’ll never have to worry about forgetting to start or stop a timer again!

After tracking, just drag and drop activities into projects. Sophisticated graphs show you how you spent your time each day and which projects consumed most of your time.

Reasons to Love Timing

Avoid Procrastination
Timing mercilessly shows you which activities are hogging your time, like browsing the web and playing games.

Properly Track Work Time
Don’t worry about forgetting to start or stop a timer for billing your clients. With Timing, all the tracking happens automatically.

Document-based Tracking
Timing tracks the path of every document you view or edit.

Safari and Chrome Support
Domains of websites you visit are also tracked.

Date Filtering
Watch your productivity plummet during the holidays.

Projects
Drag your activities into projects to categorize the time you spent.

Go Get It!

Only this week, Timing is available at a 30% discount off the regular price of $19.99. Get it from the Mac App Store today!

rooSwitch is now the new SwitchUp from Irradated Software. It’s mostly the same as in our review here, but now with menu options. Our article still refers to it as rooSwitch, but if you want to try it out, SwitchUp is essentially the same app, just updated and with a new name.

Do you ever wish you could set up an app’s preferences, then create another profile with a completely different set of preferences?

rooSwitch is a unique app that does exactly that. Read on to see how you can put this incredibly useful app to work.

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The Mac App Store has brought about a whole mess of new utilities that make your Mac more functional than ever.

Today we’re going to dive and find thirty particularly useful utilities that you’ll definitely want to check out and consider downloading.

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In Lion, the Spaces feature has been replaced by Mission Control, one central location with some major window management capabilities (Exposé shortcuts are still available).

We recently published an article on Making the Most of Mission Control and would love to know how you’re getting along with the new system.

I think the best way to judge your acceptance of Mission Control is by noting how much you actually use it on a day to day basis. Is it a novelty feature that you forget exists (Dashboard anyone?) or is it something that you use constantly and couldn’t live without?

Cast your vote in the poll and then leave a comment below about why you love or hate it and if you miss any functionality from Snow Leopard.

We’d like to take a moment to say a big thank you to this week’s sponsor, CheckUp.

CheckUp is an awesome utility designed to help you monitor the behavior and health of your Mac in real time. Like the dashboard of a car, CheckUp gives you a quick reference for important information about your Mac. It monitors and detects hardware issues, keeps an eye on your processor and network performance, gives you stats about your files and storage, shows you a history of recent crashes and a whole lot more.

The application itself is gorgeous and conveniently sits on the side of the screen in a dock until you need it. You’re never more than a click away from all of your important information.

Here are some more reasons to love CheckUp:

  • Optimized and build for recent Macs
  • New core completely rewritten for Snow Leopard and Lion
  • More than 100 new features planned for version 3.1 in September
  • Available in 5 languages
  • All updates always free for life

Go Try It Out!

CheckUp 3 is available for $29.99 on the Mac App Store. Alternatively, you can stop by the CheckUp website and try the free trial version.

Today we’re going to take a look at Simplify, an attractive and convenient way to interact with Spotify from your desktop.

Read on to see if you should download Simplify to help manage your Spotify addiction!

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Good news! We’ve chosen our five winners. The following readers will receive an email shortly with details on claiming your prize. To everyone else, thanks for entering and be sure to check back next week for another awesome giveaway!

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